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So um, Japanese journal entries on Lodestone...Follow

#1 Dec 22 2010 at 6:56 PM Rating: Decent
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1. Are they the only ones I see because they use the feature the most? If so, that's cool but why can't I limit it tojournals/blogs in the languages I can read...

2. Can some one that reads Japanese without using a webtranslate function give us an idea of what the newest or most popular posts are? (I'm not sure how it lists them on the right side if Lodestone as I've rarely seen anything in Egnlish other than what I've been hotlinked to)

I know there was a bit of controversy recently about planted bloggers on Lodestone, was that JP only or multi-national?



Edited, Dec 25th 2010 12:21am by Osarion Lock Thread: Completely derailed
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#2 Dec 22 2010 at 7:00 PM Rating: Good
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I think those are just the most recent posts.
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#3 Dec 22 2010 at 7:03 PM Rating: Excellent
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PerrinofSylph wrote:
1. Are they the only ones I see because they use the feature the most? If so, that's cool but why can't I limit it tojournals/blogs in the languages I can read...


You can now, actually.

1) Log on to Lodestone.
2) Go to "My Page" (or was it "My Site"?).
3) From there, you can alter the widget to the far-right to filter for both language and server.

It's not doable on the main Lodestone page, mind you. Just your personal page.

Edited, Dec 22nd 2010 8:04pm by Satisiun
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#4 Dec 22 2010 at 8:46 PM Rating: Good
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I read them, and I'm afraid to tell you something about these journals, they are extremely biased towards the game.

Due cultural reasons most Japanese players will hold their true opinion in favor of something better to say, specially when they have to reveal their identity (even if it's just an online character name)

I have in fact found at least 2 persons promoting "Happy shouting" in their comments, encouraging others to shout things like "I having fun with this game doing XXX, why don't you join me", they try to gather other people to literally run around and do this wherever they are.

Nevertheless you see some comments against but those are made mostly by alternate accounts, and are a minority at best, either way they don't bring much to the argument since their tone is sarcastic and mean, nothing more than glorified throlls.

The few (and I remember reading only one) actual journals pointing some flaws of the game are quickly discredited with comments that go from "this is not the place from complains" to "I bet you can do it better".

Now to be honest I get that a journal is not precisely the place to post your opinion about the game, it's a space to share your experiences and adventures but still, the overall tone of them is extremely fanboyish.

Ken
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#5 Dec 22 2010 at 11:34 PM Rating: Good
Kenage

I'm actually quite partial to Japanese culture because of this tendency to be polite. Frankly it's something our western cultures could learn from.

And I'm not quite sure why being biased positively for the game is a bad thing .... if you prefer negativity you can always just read the english language posts ^^. Though I think you'll find more than a small minority of those are actually quite positively 'biased' for the game these days as well. ^^
#6 Dec 22 2010 at 11:37 PM Rating: Decent
PerrinofSylph wrote:

I know there was a bit of controversy recently about planted bloggers on Lodestone, was that JP only or multi-national?



...was there?
#7 Dec 22 2010 at 11:47 PM Rating: Decent
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I'm actually quite partial to Japanese culture because of this tendency to be polite. Frankly it's something our western cultures could learn from.


And they could learn to be less bigoted and paranoid. Try politely saying hello to a child. You may find yourself having a polite conversation with the police.

Superficial politeness isn't exactly the most valuable quality.
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Ok, now we're going to get slash fiction of Wint x Kachi somehere... rule 34 and all...

Never confuse your inference as the listener for an implication of the speaker.

Good games are subjective like good food is subjective. You're not going to seriously tell me that there's not a psychological basis for why pizza is great and lutefisk is revolting. The thing about subjectivity is that, as subjects go, humans actually have a great deal in common.
#8 Dec 23 2010 at 12:07 AM Rating: Excellent
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justpassingthrough1 wrote:
PerrinofSylph wrote:

I know there was a bit of controversy recently about planted bloggers on Lodestone, was that JP only or multi-national?



...was there?


Yes. There was.

Long story short, Square-Enix had been recruiting celebrities over in Japan to blog about their adventures and endeavors over in Eorzea. Sounds simple enough, right?

Well, when the Lodestone added in the function wherein you could track progress of characters, and see the achievements that they had attained, it turned out a good chunk of said bloggers had been using people to ghost write for them, having not played the game at all to the point they had been implying they are at.

Needless to say, it was an embarrassment. While it's true that oftentimes celebrity bloggers do fluff up what they are doing for companies, it's usually not something that becomes a blatant lie that is revealed by the company's own pulling back of the curtain, so to speak.
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#9 Dec 23 2010 at 12:10 AM Rating: Excellent
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justpassingthrough1 wrote:
PerrinofSylph wrote:

I know there was a bit of controversy recently about planted bloggers on Lodestone, was that JP only or multi-national?



...was there?


It was in Japan only. Short version is they had payed some celebrities to play and endorse the game. They had their journal/blog postings, maybe a couple entries over the first few weeks. Then when they released the ability to view players achievements, its became obvious that at least one of the bloggers had barely touched the game, and was talking about experiencing level 15 or so. I think they were missing the achievement for 1000 gil from a single guild-leve or something like that.


EDIT : Too slow :(

Edited, Dec 23rd 2010 1:11am by KujaKoF
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#10 Dec 23 2010 at 1:10 AM Rating: Decent
@ Kachi

Frankly if I saw a stranger coming up and saying hello to my 2yro to 4yro nieces and nephews I'd be freaking out and calling the police too.

There are lines you don't cross when interacting with other people's children, one of which is - you simply do not approach the child, you approach the parent.
#11 Dec 23 2010 at 2:08 AM Rating: Good
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Did I ever say "approach?" You could make eye contact and smile and the police might start looking for you.

Some of the things you would consider polite are weird, intrusive, and downright rude in Japan. Further, people in Japan aren't more polite because they're so pleasant-- they face immense social pressure to act in that way, and many of them quietly resent it.

I just hate to see someone glorify a culture they don't really understand based on superficial observations. Maybe you don't, but comments like "we could learn something from them" are misguided. Politeness is a social construct that can't be quantified as simply more/less anyway. Is it polite to hold the door open for someone? Is it still polite when you're expected to hold the door open for them?
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Hyrist wrote:
Ok, now we're going to get slash fiction of Wint x Kachi somehere... rule 34 and all...

Never confuse your inference as the listener for an implication of the speaker.

Good games are subjective like good food is subjective. You're not going to seriously tell me that there's not a psychological basis for why pizza is great and lutefisk is revolting. The thing about subjectivity is that, as subjects go, humans actually have a great deal in common.
#12 Dec 23 2010 at 2:18 AM Rating: Good
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I agree there is something "nice" about the overly polite culture of Japan...

...but under the surface you'll find a very xenophobic and one of the most homogeneous societies on the planet. Conformity is glorified and being different is conformed.

Superficial politeness can actually be quite rude. It's more or less a form of lying to save face (by Eastern standards). It's not exclusive to Japan, but they certainly have an art form to it.
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#13 Dec 23 2010 at 2:51 AM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
Further, people in Japan aren't more polite because they're so pleasant-- they face immense social pressure to act in that way, and many of them quietly resent it.

I just hate to see someone glorify a culture they don't really understand based on superficial observations. Maybe you don't, but comments like "we could learn something from them" are misguided. Politeness is a social construct that can't be quantified as simply more/less anyway. Is it polite to hold the door open for someone? Is it still polite when you're expected to hold the door open for them?


Quote:
I agree there is something "nice" about the overly polite culture of Japan...

...but under the surface you'll find a very xenophobic and one of the most homogeneous societies on the planet. Conformity is glorified and being different is conformed.

Superficial politeness can actually be quite rude. It's more or less a form of lying to save face (by Eastern standards). It's not exclusive to Japan, but they certainly have an art form to it.


The two of you, Sirs, are quite possibly the most narrow-minded simpletons I've ever experienced in two consecutive posts. Especially the part:

Quote:
I just hate to see someone comment on a culture they don't really understand based on superficial observations.


cries in agony for the golden Banana of irony. Shu-shu, back to your all-american backyards; from there, you are free to analyze the outside world without facing the need to accept the slight possibility that, while this certainly cannot be said of everything as a whole, some things actually *are* better elsewhere.

Edited, Dec 23rd 2010 4:00am by Rinsui
#14 Dec 23 2010 at 2:57 AM Rating: Default
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Well feel free to defend your position. In the mean time, what's the deal with misquoting me? If you were trying to do a "fixed" you're doing it wrong, besides which if you had even bothered to read the beginning of the next sentence, you wouldn't have bothered to attempt a "fixed".
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Hyrist wrote:
Ok, now we're going to get slash fiction of Wint x Kachi somehere... rule 34 and all...

Never confuse your inference as the listener for an implication of the speaker.

Good games are subjective like good food is subjective. You're not going to seriously tell me that there's not a psychological basis for why pizza is great and lutefisk is revolting. The thing about subjectivity is that, as subjects go, humans actually have a great deal in common.
#15 Dec 23 2010 at 3:02 AM Rating: Good
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Kachi, you are talking out of your **** about something you do not have the *slightest* *faintest* clue about. Stop it.

@Kirutaru:
You are quoting the BS Ruth Benedict wrote in "The Crysanthemum and the Sword". That lady never visited Japan. I am sorry I got upset at you - not at Kachi, because he/she definitely deserves it -; but after so many years of being confronted with the ever-same generalizations and "outside observations" I just tend to anger rather quickly.

There are quite a few things that objectively *are* different here in Japan; but it is not reasonable to analyze these differences out of context. Of course, an outside observator cannot be expected to fully understand the intricate interrelations between the elements of a cultural system. But he can be expected to refrain from a judgement.

Which is quite the one thing I hate most about (what little I get to see of) the US media. They always have *simple* *reasonable* *logic* explanations (and solutions) for what happens in our World. That perceived simplicity, however, is based on the ignorant assumption that reason and logic are universal,...

... but I'm getting ahead of myself.
Let's enjoy FFXIV ^.^/


Edited, Dec 23rd 2010 4:19am by Rinsui
#16 Dec 23 2010 at 3:28 AM Rating: Decent
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I don't talk out of my ****. If I'm not confident of something, I generally don't claim it with any confidence, and I certainly don't defend it. I used to think very highly of Japanese culture myself (not only from being raised on anime and their video games, but my perceptions of their country and people)-- that's why I have become rather familiar with it.

I'm not saying anything that hasn't come straight from Japan, and I challenge you to defy anything I've said. In doing so, realize that you're challenging some very candid testimonies from actual Japanese people.

Japan is a historically xenophobic and conformist nation, as well. I've never even heard of "The Crysanthemum and the Sword" but many Japanese people have admitted as much to me. Japan has a lot of social problems, but people learn to suffer silently and put on a happy face-- they're expected to. They also have one of the world's highest suicide rates due to a number of social pressures and a lack of personal freedom despite living in one of the safest and most developed nations in the world.

If you are Japanese and have actually lived there extensively, I welcome your input. Otherwise, your insight is probably not going to be very meaningful to me.

You should also know that I'm very well educated in both sociology and psychology-- I have a far deeper understanding of social systems than I can convey in a simple rebuttal of a generalization like "Japanese are so polite."

Edited, Dec 23rd 2010 1:31am by Kachi
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Hyrist wrote:
Ok, now we're going to get slash fiction of Wint x Kachi somehere... rule 34 and all...

Never confuse your inference as the listener for an implication of the speaker.

Good games are subjective like good food is subjective. You're not going to seriously tell me that there's not a psychological basis for why pizza is great and lutefisk is revolting. The thing about subjectivity is that, as subjects go, humans actually have a great deal in common.
#17 Dec 23 2010 at 4:22 AM Rating: Excellent
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Japanese are neither xenophobic nor conformist, they closest thing to xenophobic that can be said about Japan is that they are elitist, but honestly it's just a mix of racism/discrimination combined with a society who purse to live in really high standards.

They aren't conformist, not in the sightless, I could call literally dozens of anecdotes of my Japanese coworkers and friends who literally doesn't stop for anything until the job it's done, the service it's done, the game it's done, or the favor it's done; and it isn't the reward, or the price it's just the incredible compromise to accomplish the assigned task, they take pride on being efficient and keeping a promise but I'm just curious to hear why you think otherwise.

Society problems and high suicide rate, well yeah both are true but which society is honestly free form the former? and for the later is only 0.0133% higher than USA which is more or less the same difference that Japan has with Belarus the top country in the list, and the number one cause of suicide is, as you said, the inability to fulfill with other people's expectations, which makes me wonder how that can be considered conformism but again, I'd like to know.

@Rinsui: good to see you here, have you read lodestone? what do you think about the journals? I really got surprise about the... "inspiring tone" specially after a trip to 2chanel and see what people was saying about the game.

Ken
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#18 Dec 23 2010 at 4:33 AM Rating: Excellent
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No, Kachi, you are, again, talking out of your ****.
Yes, I am Japanese, and yes, I am, once again, willing to call out all the crap you drop in this forum with your ever-sophisticated wording. But, alas, finely wrapped crap still stinks. Let me pick this apart.

Quote:
Japan is a historically xenophobic and conformist nation, as well. I've never even heard of "The Crysanthemum and the Sword" but many Japanese people have admitted as much to me.


Who are those "many Japanese people"? Those 150 people living in your backyard?

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Japan has a lot of social problems, but people learn to suffer silently and put on a happy face-- they're expected to.


Like, high crime rates, unemployment and divorces? Which brings me to the next point:

Quote:
You should also know that I'm very well educated in both sociology and psychology-- I have a far deeper understanding of social systems than I can convey in a simple rebuttal of a generalization like "Japanese are so polite."


No, you do not. You have quite a bit of broad and general knowledge, but are far from being an expert. For that, your grasp of the matter is too shallow; at least in Psychology.
You may not remember, but about a year ago we already had a discussion about "Cognitive Dissonance"; which showed - at least to me - that you may be working in Education or some related field, but definitely are neither a professional counselor nor a scientist in the Psychology department. I have not reached a verdict on your knowledge in Sociology yet; but clearly you are not an expert in cross-cultural Sociology, or the concepts of cultural relativism or Ruth Benedict would ring a bell in your head.

Quote:
If I'm not confident of something, I generally don't claim it with any confidence, and I certainly don't defend it.


The L*u*L*z.
See. I can use teenager vocabulary and still be correct. And saucy. Truth needs no frills or ribbons.

Your pretty words may impress some forum kids, but in the end, that's only smoke and mirrors; you lack true knowledge of the matter at hand. And I caught you with your hands in the cookie jar. Better run now.

Edited, Dec 23rd 2010 5:44am by Rinsui
#19 Dec 23 2010 at 4:37 AM Rating: Excellent
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Ha! Kenage actually beat me.
I don't know where he got his numbers on suicide from, but for the time being
I guess it's save to assume his numbers are correct. Mine are a little old.

And in correction to my previous post: Huh-huh. Seems like I got some suicide
rates mixed up. 'twas the homicide rates that are 10 times higher in the US than
in Japan. Mea Culpa.


Edited, Dec 23rd 2010 5:54am by Rinsui
#20 Dec 23 2010 at 4:48 AM Rating: Excellent
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but comments like "we could learn something from them" are misguided.

This made me laugh. How bitter and narrow does your life have to be when you think that a culture has nothing to offer to anyone else?

Japanese conventions of politeness aren't perfect, and they aren't necessarily better than western social expectations, but the idea that the west can't even learn something is downright silly.
Quote:
but after so many years of being confronted with the ever-same generalizations and "outside observations" I just tend to anger rather quickly.

Every culture on the planet has to put up with uninformed generalizations. Japanese culture doesn't get any more of that than its "fair" share, and there's no excuse for a short fuse to be found there.

Undergrad intro-course cultural analysis is certainly frustrating and pointless ("Look, I know big words used by experts!"), but that's not worth getting ***** about.
#21 Dec 23 2010 at 4:56 AM Rating: Excellent
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...Can someone post that "topic derailed" pic please? Smiley: wink
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#22 Dec 23 2010 at 5:01 AM Rating: Good
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-.-/ Sorry.
#23 Dec 23 2010 at 6:12 AM Rating: Good
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kenage wrote:

They aren't conformist, not in the sightless, I could call literally dozens of anecdotes of my Japanese coworkers and friends who literally doesn't stop for anything until the job it's done, the service it's done, the game it's done, or the favor it's done; and it isn't the reward, or the price it's just the incredible compromise to accomplish the assigned task, they take pride on being efficient and keeping a promise but I'm just curious to hear why you think otherwise.

I'm not sure you understand the word "conformist". It means everyone have to be the same and if you stick out too much, you'll be put in your place. You can't escape the expectations put onto you by society. I have read several personal stories of women fleeing or planning to flee Japan because women are not expected to have and act on strong personal opinions.

Japan is pretty much the poster boy for the unique social problems of the developed countries in far east Asia. Capsule hotels designed to serve salarymen who had to work so much overtime they couldn't get back home that night would never have been invented in the West. Likewise, the hikikomori phenomenon started in Japan and is still virtually non-existant elsewhere in the world. Finally, the school system puts such an emphasis on passing tests over actually learning anything useful it's almost comical. The average Japanese person speaks such poor English you'd think it's not a part of school curriculum but that could not be further from the truth.

Having said that, Japan does have a miniscule crime rate, and based on stories from people who have traveled there, the amount of good will people give each other can feel extraordinary. I'm going there this Christmas to see if my own experiences match with theirs. At least Taiwan, which is heavily influenced by Japanese culture, was extremely welcoming to the point where I was almost shocked by how nice people were. There are definitely things to learn as well as things to learn from in Japanese culture.
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#24 Dec 23 2010 at 7:05 AM Rating: Good
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Ha. Now that is a differentiated viewpoint I can live with.

Quote:
I have read several personal stories of women fleeing or planning to flee Japan because women are not expected to have and act on strong personal opinions.


True, to some degree. Women here normally don't grow a beard. Then again, I think it was a "western" philosopher who once wrote: "Feminism was invented as a means to integrate ugly women into Society". No, I give you that: free-spirited women, while they do exist, may have a harder time here than elsewhere. Then again, women here also don't feel the need to turn themselves into man-slaying sexbombs. I wonder whether those artificial-breasted ****-waxed semi-pornstars that populate the US media really are more "free" and more true to what they want to be as women than their Japanese counterparts; perceived freedom largely is a function of what you want to be, and what you can be.

Quote:
Capsule hotels designed to serve salarymen who had to work so much overtime they couldn't get back home that night would never have been invented in the West.


Heyhey? I thought we Japanese are completely without imagination? How could we invent something without a western precedent?

Quote:
Likewise, the hikikomori phenomenon started in Japan and is still virtually non-existant elsewhere in the world.


Nah, I wouldn't be too sure about that one. Socially disabled nerds and fanatics exist everywhere around the world. And I guess there's more of them in this forum than in a small Japanese town. The difference might just be that those guys elsewhere draw less attention - unless they turn violent. Columbine, anyone? It's the same with the alleged "uniquely and disproportionally" rampant bullying in Japanese highschools. A myth invented by the US media (if absolutely necessary, say "pretty please" and I'll search for the relevant sources), and in turn copied by the Japanese "Nihonjinron". And once such a myth has been established, it's virtually impossible to dispell it.

Quote:
Finally, the school system puts such an emphasis on passing tests over actually learning anything useful it's almost comical. The average Japanese person speaks such poor English you'd think it's not a part of school curriculum but that could not be further from the truth.


Partially true. While I agree that passing tests is the main motive for many parents, the end result is not "dumb robots", as some westerners claim. While it's hard to come up with a fair test of what pupils have learned around the world as different things may be considered "important", results of the trans-national PISA study (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Programme_for_International_Sdent_Assessment) seem to indicate that not everything is a complete waste of time in Japan. About English conversation skills of the average Japanese: Yes, they could be better. By far better. Then again, I wonder how many people in the US are fluent in a non-western language.(?)

We do have a lot to learn. A huge lot. But while we are able and willing to do so (derogative: "copycat nation"), it's people like Kachi in the west that make me wonder who has the more liberal and flexible minds. I cannot speak for the rest of the Japanese (no, we don't share one collective mind!), I think it's just that some people here believe that we do, in fact, have a lot of good and unique things in our society. And those, we are reluctant to sacrifice for unquestioned adoption of "western" ideals and customs. A culture is a sort of network of interwoven threads. You can't selectively adopt one thread of another cultural system without endangering the coherence of the whole yarnball.

Quote:
It means everyone have to be the same and if you stick out too much, you'll be put in your place. You can't escape the expectations put onto you by society.


Again, concerning conformism, and the overarching concept of collectivism, proven evidence beyond the era of hearsay and "common knowledge" is pretty rare. There happen to be very, very few studies on this topic that were conducted with adults; so please take the following with a grain of salt, as it may only apply to the highly educated university student population. But those experiments on conformism (e.g. the "Ash" experiment , see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asch_conformity_experiments ) or a study by Triandis on conformity with significant others (parents, friends etc.) which were conducted in both Japan and the US yielded some pretty astonishing results. In both studies (again, if you are really, really interested and want to force me to waste my time, I can provide some sources), US students actually showed more conformity than their Japanese counterparts. Though I have to admit this tells us little about the general adult population, it may suffice to indicate that things are not as clear-cut as "common knowledge" wants us to believe.

This. Just to derail the thread a little more.

Edited, Dec 23rd 2010 8:36am by Rinsui

Edited, Dec 23rd 2010 8:42am by Rinsui
#25 Dec 23 2010 at 7:40 AM Rating: Good
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justpassingthrough1 wrote:
PerrinofSylph wrote:

I know there was a bit of controversy recently about planted bloggers on Lodestone, was that JP only or multi-national?



...was there?

indeed. It was uncovered when the history feature was added to the loadstone that there were several people claiming they had fun doing quests that the char was nowhere near the rank to even start.

Edited, Dec 23rd 2010 8:44am by Jefro420
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#26 Dec 23 2010 at 7:41 AM Rating: Good
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Rinsui wrote:

True, to some degree. Women here normally don't grow a beard. Then again, I think it was a "western" philosopher who once wrote: "Feminism was invented as a means to integrate ugly women into Society". No, I give you that: free-spirited women, while they do exist, may have a harder time here than elsewhere.

Please, don't bring feminism into this. It's a topic I love to discuss but it has no place in this already somewhat derailed thread.

Quote:

Heyhey? I thought we Japanese are completely without imagination? How could we invent something without a western precedent?

I'm not sure where you're going with this. Individual Japanese have a great imagination and many (most, perhaps) of my favourite stories are written by Japanese, however, on an organizational level I'd say you are very stiff, even robotic. This is actually why Keiji Inafune left Capcom, by the way.

Quote:

Nah, I wouldn't be too sure about that one. Socially disabled nerds and fanatics exist everywhere around the world. And I guess there's more of them in this forum than in a small Japanese town. The difference might just be that those guys elsewhere draw less attention - unless they turn violent. Columbine, anyone? It's the same with the alleged rampant bullying in Japanese highschools. A myth invented by the US media (if absolutely necessary, say "pretty please" and I'll search for the relevant sources), and in turn copied by the Japanese one. And once such a myth has been established, it's virtually impossible to dispell it.

I can't remember the backgrounds of the guys behind the Columbine shootings, but as far as I can remember, there was no mention of them them being hermits who don't even take their trash out. In general, there seems to be far less commentary on such phenomena outside Japan and we haven't coined a term for it, though to some extent it surely happens elsewhere, as well. Also, I'm not even basing this on what the US media has said (I'm not even American, I'm Finnish) but on Japanese outlets.

Quote:

Then again, I wonder how many people in the US are fluent in a non-western language.(?)
The American school system is trash, though for different reasons. As far as I know, foreign languages are not mandatory for them, however. Japan has done well in PISA comparisons, though not as well as Finland and we have less hours/week and no cram schools.



Edited, Dec 23rd 2010 8:43am by Omena
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#27 Dec 23 2010 at 9:25 AM Rating: Good
Omena wrote:


In general, there seems to be far less commentary on such phenomena outside Japan and we haven't coined a term for it...


You don't know that. You can't know that. As it so happens there are names for such conditions - it just that the condition has become so widely acknowledged and publicised in Japan they have coined their own title for it. The very hallmarks of things like Social Phobia/Anxiety and/or Avoidant Personality Disorder and related conditions are the extent of which the people who have to deal with it don't wish to be in an way to be socially diminished or seen as 'lesser' or incomplete by their societies and so suffer in secret. It's estimated a significantly larger unknown proportion of people suffer from the condition to some extent because of this. Further there are significant barriers to overcome it as sufferers are *extremely* unlikely to seek help due to fear of ridicule.

Also guys, while the references to 'anti-social' and 'social phobia/anxiety' are similar sounding (both have the word 'social' that is) they are very dissimilar. 'anti' is to be against - as in people who react negatively in social situations. A phobia is simply where people suffer a great deal of fear.

Columbine could be said to be an extreme example of an anti-social response.

A typically common example of a social anxiety response is someone who freezes with stage fright, or exhibits other very peculiar symptoms at the very thought of having to stand up in front of a group and give a speech. They aren't anti-social, they are socially fearful. Not the same thing.

Frankly, as someone who has had to struggle with social phobia myself for over a decade in my younger years (and who still has lingering symptoms of which I still must face every day) - I find it kind of off-putting that out of ignorance people use a throw-away reference to Columbine to, in any way, define me or my potential actions/responses.

....and now look how far off course I've taken the discussion... ^^
#28 Dec 23 2010 at 9:56 AM Rating: Excellent
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Kachi wrote:
Quote:
I'm actually quite partial to Japanese culture because of this tendency to be polite. Frankly it's something our western cultures could learn from.


And they could learn to be less bigoted and paranoid. Try politely saying hello to a child. You may find yourself having a polite conversation with the police.

Superficial politeness isn't exactly the most valuable quality.


I don't understand where you're coming from with this, Kachi. Are you implying that "politely saying hello to a child" will get you in trouble in Japan? Have you ever lived there? Realize that I'm not trying to call you out, just wondering where your comment is coming from.

My wife is Japanese, which by deduction one can assume (correctly) that my children are both mixed (American/Japanese). In my 10 years of living in Japan, I have seen nothing of the sort, ever. Whether I'm walking around in a large city casually greeting people (it's fun to watch their faces as an American who speaks fluent Japanese greets them casually while walking by), or even if I'm at the bus stop/train station casually saying hello to a little munchkin who might be loitering nearby...I've never seen what you're referring to.

Now of course, if by "child" you mean "14-17 year old young woman", then yes, it's possible. It depends entirely on what she's wearing, and what you are doing with her. If you're a little too close for comfort, you COULD be asked to explain yourself by any overprotective police officer (who also might be a concerned father, himself), but I've only seen this a couple of times while here...and it was more like "Japanese or Foreign man is sitting on a park bench, sexyhot school girl is sitting on his lap, and they're eating a sandwich".

In that case, yes...it was creepy.



Edited, Dec 23rd 2010 4:11pm by Samuraiken
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Hadasui readies JP-button.
Hadasui gains the effect of OMFGWTF.
Hadasui obtains: A Pwn Katana +1.
Perce : U want 2 pT?
Hadasui : JPONRY!

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#29 Dec 23 2010 at 11:34 AM Rating: Good
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Omena wrote:
The American school system is trash, though for different reasons. As far as I know, foreign languages are not mandatory for them, however. Japan has done well in PISA comparisons, though not as well as Finland and we have less hours/week and no cram schools.


This is so true. The American school system is a joke. Nearly each and every public school only cares about their state testing scores which determines how much federal funding they get, so curriculum is focused on those tests and some schools even cheat to bring up their score by simply giving the students the answers. Private schools dumb down their curriculum so that it's actually difficult for students to fail because parents will blame the school for their child's bad grades and eventually pull them out of that school, cutting into the school's profits from enrollment.

I live in Mississippi, and knowing and hearing stories from 2 teachers who had to teach in north Mississippi school districts has painted a very bleak picture of the American school system for me. I realize that doesn't cover the nation as a whole but if what goes on there goes on elsewhere, I fear for our future generations.

Sorry for the further derail... I just feel our education system need a lot more attention to have some its problems addressed.
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#30 Dec 23 2010 at 11:38 AM Rating: Good
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I realize I'm only further-ing an already off-topic conversation, but just to answer a quick Q:

American schools do not require a foreign language(federally) until high school. About age 14. Then, in most states, it's 2 years only.

A large variety isn't common either. Granted, I'm older, but my HS only taught Latin, French and Spanish. East coast, so Spanish is spoken here a lot. When I was in college, they added tele-courses for Japanese and German, with actual native classes. I was so upset I missed the chance at that program. :(
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#31 Dec 23 2010 at 12:40 PM Rating: Good
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Fun trivia:

The US does not have an official language.

Up here in Canada, it's English and French, though I'm sure you all knew that already

Edit: small mistake fixed

Edited, Dec 23rd 2010 1:42pm by XienithSilvercloud
#32 Dec 23 2010 at 2:21 PM Rating: Good
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I will say that for the US, there is much less need for learning a foreign language than say Europe, simply because the US isn't surrounded by several different foreign languages, in close proximity. Even if you think they should, I would say the majority of americans would go their entire lives without finding a situation without english translations available.
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#33 Dec 24 2010 at 1:11 AM Rating: Good
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reptiletim wrote:
This is so true. The American school system is a joke. Nearly each and every public school only cares about their state testing scores which determines how much federal funding they get, so curriculum is focused on those tests and some schools even cheat to bring up their score by simply giving the students the answers.


I agree with you wholehearted on this. While I've never heard of people giving out test answers (I think that may be a bit bold, but if the school is in that deep of a rut, I don't think they wouldn't try it!), here in Arizona they have completely done away with Art, Music, etc. It's Math, the Sciences, and (I think) Physical Education. Whatever the four core schools of thought that Bush signed as the scoring categories for school, those are the only ones they teach. This might not be widespread throughout the entire state of Arizona, but just about every school south of Tucson (possibly including that city itself), now has a shorter day (around 8AM-1:30PM).

My daughter will be attending Kindergarten next year after she turns 5. I sincerely hope that I am able to move my family back to Japan (we've only been in the US for about a year now), as this is entirely unacceptable.

And just a quick quip about people who comment on most of Japanese society not speaking English: obviously, if the situation were reversed, we wouldn't be complaining. However, I would like to note that English is taught (usually) starting in Middle School on upwards. It might be required in some locations, although my wife has told me that some do and some don't. At any rate, even though you sit in class and "learn" it, without use it just goes down the drain.

This was proven to me when I studied German for three years so that I could win my then-fiancee's father over (they were German). We eventually went our separate ways, and I moved to Japan. Once in Japan, German fell out one ear while Japanese flowed into the other. I never used German, and after a year it was pretty much gone (except, of course, for the all important "dirty words", which ever young adolescent must need know!).

Just a thought from the other side. Personally, it amazes the **** out of me that both my soon-to-be 5 year old daughter, and my 2 year old son, both speak English, Japanese, and a very decent amount of Chinese and Spanish (Thank Dora the Explorer and Kai-lan!). I constantly wonder, if cartoons can teach my children two extra languages on top of the two they're already learning...how the **** am I supposed to live up to THAT?

I've decided to start teaching one of them Java, and the other C#, and go from there. Those are the two most important languages in my opinion (career-wise, lol).
____________________________
Quote:
Hadasui readies JP-button.
Hadasui gains the effect of OMFGWTF.
Hadasui obtains: A Pwn Katana +1.
Perce : U want 2 pT?
Hadasui : JPONRY!

♠ ´¨)
¸.·´¸.·*´¨) ¸.·*¨)
(¸.·´ (¸.·` (¸Hadasui:SMN75·PLD75·DRG67♠ ´¨)
#34 Dec 24 2010 at 4:51 AM Rating: Decent
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Unfortunately due to the time of the year, I really don't have time to properly address all the bullsh*t in your post, Rinsui. Suffice it to say you have judged me, and done so wrongly. You don't know much about me as a person or a professional clearly, but that you would call my education in to question says that you haven't even read a lot of the posts I've made in this very forum.

I never claimed to be an expert in cross-cultural sociology, but neither am I at all ignorant of the subject. I work with many people from a variety of eastern nations as well, including Japan. Cultural relativism isn't even an advanced subject, so wtf at talking about that. You assume I didn't know it when I didn't feel it was worth mentioning?

Just keep in mind that I can do the same thing as you. "Hah, you're obviously wrong, and you're just trying to sound like you know what you're talking about. What a joke!" It's not an especially compelling tactic. Further, what "big fancy words" did I use? If I were trying to launch into a dissertation of the finer points of Japanese culture, it would have sailed right over the head of my audience. I wasn't attempting to generate deep discourse on the subject, just cast a shadow of doubt on SOMEONE ELSE'S inaccurate perceptions. In doing so, I made generalizations for the sake of simplicity, not out of ignorance.

Maybe the comments I've made don't ring true for you or even your family, but for many Japanese people, they do. Let's not pretend like being Japanese allows you to speak for all Japanese people... what's the extent of your experience with Japanese culture, anyway? That you're Japanese doesn't tell me when, if ever, you've lived there (or where there), for how long, and during what stages of the life course.

Quote:
This made me laugh. How bitter and narrow does your life have to be when you think that a culture has nothing to offer to anyone else?


I don't know... how bitter and narrow does your mind have to be to interpret "Japanese politeness isn't all it's cracked up to be, so statements like 'we can learn something from them' in that context are misguided," with, "We have nothing to learn from Japan." That was quite a stretch.

Quote:
I don't understand where you're coming from with this, Kachi. Are you implying that "politely saying hello to a child" will get you in trouble in Japan? Have you ever lived there? Realize that I'm not trying to call you out, just wondering where your comment is coming from.


I'm saying that it can, and that's coming from Japanese press reports. I have never lived in Japan, though at one point I intended to teach English there. My brother has lived there, however, and speaks the language rather well.

My comment was overall intended to highlight that politeness in Japan isn't like politeness in the western world, but just "more of it," rather that politeness is actually a very different thing altogether.

Edited, Dec 24th 2010 2:59am by Kachi
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Ok, now we're going to get slash fiction of Wint x Kachi somehere... rule 34 and all...

Never confuse your inference as the listener for an implication of the speaker.

Good games are subjective like good food is subjective. You're not going to seriously tell me that there's not a psychological basis for why pizza is great and lutefisk is revolting. The thing about subjectivity is that, as subjects go, humans actually have a great deal in common.
#35 Dec 24 2010 at 1:10 PM Rating: Decent
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kenage wrote:
Society problems and high suicide rate, well yeah both are true but which society is honestly free form the former? and for the later is only 0.0133% higher than USA which is more or less the same difference that Japan has with Belarus the top country in the list, and the number one cause of suicide is, as you said, the inability to fulfill with other people's expectations, which makes me wonder how that can be considered conformism but again, I'd like to know.


Weird usage of the word 'only'.
US: .0111% (2005)
JP: .0244% (2007)

In this case .0133% more is more than double.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_suicide_rate
#36 Dec 24 2010 at 2:26 PM Rating: Decent
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Personal opinion time!

Quote:
Maybe the comments I've made don't ring true for you or even your family, but for many Japanese people, they do. Let's not pretend like being Japanese allows you to speak for all Japanese people... what's the extent of your experience with Japanese culture, anyway? That you're Japanese doesn't tell me when, if ever, you've lived there (or where there), for how long, and during what stages of the life course.


I believe that knowledge of culture learned from books, education, news, media, etc. is limited and not sufficient enough to apply to a nation. True understanding of a culture can only be gained by living it for a portion of your life, at least long enough to be fluent in the language, have a job, etc. Hence, I will not be taking part in this debate, but that's my two cents :)


P.S. Yeah, our school system sucks K-12. I consider myself lucky to have gotten through before all the education cuts and emphasis on test scores really kicked in. Our news/media system sucks too.

Edited, Dec 24th 2010 3:27pm by Silvano13
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#37 Dec 24 2010 at 4:53 PM Rating: Good
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reptiletim wrote:
Omena wrote:
The American school system is trash, though for different reasons. As far as I know, foreign languages are not mandatory for them, however. Japan has done well in PISA comparisons, though not as well as Finland and we have less hours/week and no cram schools.


I live in Mississippi, and knowing and hearing stories from 2 teachers who had to teach in north Mississippi school districts has painted a very bleak picture of the American school system for me. I realize that doesn't cover the nation as a whole but if what goes on there goes on elsewhere, I fear for our future generations.



Yes, you are quite right: nothing whatsoever about the state of Mississippi should be extrapolated, in any way, to the nation as a whole. :P

I live in Massachusetts, myself, and the school curricula here are very solid. (MA has had the highest mean standardized test scores of any state for a number of years.) I've never met one of these "functionally illiterate" high school grads that one sometimes reads about in news articles, although I'm sure there are some knocking about the area, well-concealed.

We do have some nice programs for remedial aid to illiterate and semi-literate adults, though, conducted through the auspices of the State. My local public library has a superb program that serves many ESL learners, and we've graduated a number of American citizens, too.

Tragically, education has availed our state economy not at all; even before the recent economic crisis, our state was losing population at a pronounced pace because we simply couldn't create enough jobs to sustain our populace.

Also, being an uncouth and impolite non-Japanese person, I will not apologize for turning from the original post's intent -- so there!
#38 Dec 24 2010 at 5:11 PM Rating: Good
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justpassingthrough1 wrote:
Kenage

I'm actually quite partial to Japanese culture because of this tendency to be polite. Frankly it's something our western cultures could learn from.

And I'm not quite sure why being biased positively for the game is a bad thing .... if you prefer negativity you can always just read the english language posts ^^. Though I think you'll find more than a small minority of those are actually quite positively 'biased' for the game these days as well. ^^


Japanese culture is incredibly pleasant when you are first exposed to it, because it is very civil and polite, and especially if you are an outsider, you aren't really expected to conform immediately. I had the pleasure of spending a year and a half in Japan, and most of the time I felt like a welcomed guest compared to how I would be treated while traveling in the States.

The longer you are exposed to it, however, the more you begin to realize that Japanese people are just like any other people. They are just as prone to dislike each other and to quarrel, but it is simply done in a more polite and subtle way. Like all polite societies this leads to a great deal of searching for meaning in subtle hints. Did that person just turn away from me because he didn't realize I was there and some thing else caught his attention, or was it a subtle dig meant to insult me in a non overt way?

If an American says "I like this game very much, but there are a few things I would love to change about it" then you know they probably have a mostly favorable view, and are probably sincere that those few things are the only flaws they see. If a Japanese person says the same thing, they could be sincere, or they could simply be polite, and actually hate every thing about the game. The prevailing politeness of Japanese is a two edged sword, because you must parse every thing that is said and done through a cultural filter to determine its true, literal meaning.

Edited, Dec 24th 2010 6:12pm by KarlHungis
#39 Dec 24 2010 at 5:28 PM Rating: Good
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Omena wrote:
The American school system is trash, though for different reasons. As far as I know, foreign languages are not mandatory for them, however.


As a product of American public schools, I would say it's more accurate to say that the American school system is extemely inconsistent. There are areas of the nation where over half the graduating class will have some sort of college level education as part of their high school curriculum (like where I went to school) and others where barely half the students ever graduate, and many of those can't read above a basic level or at all.

We're a nation of 300+ million people spread across a land area the size of all of Europe. It's a lot easier to maintain a uniformly high standard across your nation when your nation is the size of a medium or small American state. Finnland is a terrific place to live, but is it a better place to live than Rhode Island? No, it's not, but Rhode Island is just one state in the USA. A fairer comparison would be to compare all of the USA to all of Europe. How excited are the Germans and Finns to be lumped with Balkan and Eastern European states? Probably about as excited as I am to be lumped in with the great state of Alabama (my apologies to any one from that state, it simply has a poor statistical reputation for academics).

Edited, Dec 24th 2010 6:32pm by KarlHungis
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